The Finishing School Read-Along Officially Begins!!!


The FINISHING SCHOOL READ-ALONG hosted by Dena @ Batch of Books and I (Tressa @ Wishful Endings) has officially begun! There is still plenty of time to join if you haven't done so yet. The linky is at the bottom of this post and you can go to the official sign-up here. You don't need to be a blogger to join, you just need someplace online that's public to post updates for the linky or just leave a comment below saying you'd like to join if you don't have a place to post.

Today is super special because Dena and I are welcoming the author, Gail Carriger, to our blogs for an interview!!! Definitely scroll on down to check that out and to enter the giveaway! 

This is the schedule for the read-along so that you know where you should be in each book (it's basically about a chapter and sometimes a little bit more each day):
Nov 7: Curtsies, chapters 1-8
Nov 14: Curtsies, chapters 9 -16, epilogue, and final thoughts on the book
Nov 21: Waistcoats, chapters 1-8
Nov 28: Waistcoats, chapters 8-16 and final thoughts on book
Nov 29: Read-along wrap up
Remember to use #FinishingRA on Twitter for updates. You can include Dena (@denabooks) and I (@tressherm) as well.

Now I'd like to welcome Gail Carriger to my blog...

Author Interview

1. For those who may not be as familiar with your books and specifically this series, would you give us the basic gist of the characters and story?

Comedy of manners meets urbane fantasy meets espionage meets boarding school. 

The Finishing School series is set in the same world as my Parasol Protectorate adult book, only 25 years earlier, and features a finishing academy located in a giant caterpillar-like dirigible floating over Dartmoor in which young ladies are taught to . . . finish . . . everything . . . and everyone . . . as needed. There is steampunk etiquette! There is well-dressed espionage! There is Victorian fake food. There are mechanical sausage dogs named Bumbersnoot.

2. What inspired you to write the Finishing School Series?

I've always been fascinated by the idea of girls' boarding schools. I blame A Little Princess. However, I realized recently, as I was re-watching the BBC adaptation of Gaskell's North & South, that I think this TV series may be to blame. There is a line where Mr. Bell says, "Have you meet Miss Latimer? Just returned from Switzerland and very much finished." Or something like. Mr. Bell is a facetious character and I think he is meant to be contemptuously dismissing both the young lady and the very idea of women being made into mere representations of a minimalistic social ideal. But the line has always stuck with me. It made me think about the very idea of sending girls away from home to be finished, and what a powerful thing that could become, were they to learn a whole new set of social skills. 

3. What have you loved the most about writing this series?

I've enjoyed casting my mind back and remembering my own high school experience (much more clearly than I thought I would). It's surprisingly easy to regress 20 years. Either that or I never quite grew up. 

4. The imagery with all the gadgets, vehicles, and period dress, is just amazing! What do you base the imagery off of, if anything?

Reality. The Victorians had some pretty oddball inventions already, I tend to mash a few of them together, or twist their purpose. Otherwise I just use my imagination to fill in a plot necessity. 

5. What would be your favorite item of clothing if you were one of these characters?

The chatelaine.

6. The slang is so very fun and adds so much to this series. What are some of your favorites and their meanings?

I like them all! It's fun to put old fashioned slang words, or made up ones, because they are perceived by modern readers as quite ridiculous but were taken very seriously back in the day.  (This makes them that much more hilarious.) 

7. Do you have a favorite scene or quote from the series that you would be willing to share with us?

Pretty much any scene involving Pillover. He is one of my favorite characters to write.  Here is his introduction:

“What’s that?” she asked the girl, wrinkling her nose.
“Oh, that? That’s just Pillover.”
“And what’s a pillover, when it’s at home?”
“My little brother.”
“Ah, I commiserate. I have several of my own. Dashed inconvenient, brothers.”
― Gail Carriger, Etiquette & Espionage 

8. What is one interesting thing about you that we may not know?

I'm really good at pinball.

9. When you get a chance to read, what type of books do you tend to grab?

I have pretty specific taste, I actually did a blog post on some of the tropes that I really gravitate towards as a reader. Check that out here

I also do a read along book group, picking once book a month. I write a blog post about why I chose the book at the beginning of the month, and then write a review at the end. Skye runs a companion discussion via my Goodreads fan group

10. Can you share a teaser for the fourth book, Manners & Mutiny?

Nope. Nice try, though.

Thank you, Gail, so much for answering our questions!

About the Series

Etiquette & Espionage


(You can see my review of the first book here.)

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Curtsies & Conspiracies (Finishing School, #2)Curtsies & Conspiracies


Sophronia, second year at Miss Geraldine's Finishing Academy, helps Dimity avoid London kidnappers and Vieve 10 attend Bunson boys' school. Someone kills for malfunctioning guidance valves that can control 'aether' atmosphere level. Again, she flirts with 'sootie' coal-worker Soap from the boiler room, and cuts Felix, son of Duke Golborne, at come-out ball. Teacher Captain Niall turns werewolf; vampire Prof Braithwope braves 'tether'; mechanimal Bumbersnoot plays essential role.

Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)Waistcoats & Weaponry


Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.

Gather your poison, steel tipped quill, and the rest of your school supplies and join Mademoiselle Geraldine's proper young killing machines in the third rousing installment in the New York Times bestselling Finishing School Series by steampunk author, Gail Carriger.

Book Trailer
Have you seen the trailer for this series yet? If not, check it out here:



This is going to be a blast!! Let Dena or I know if you have any questions.


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13 comments

  1. I've only vaguely heard of this series...but I REALLY want to read it now! I didn't realize it was steam-punky too...omg, how awesome! The covers really catch my eye too, and I'm definitely caught by that little snippet. Dashed inconvenient brothers? I concur!

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  2. Sam Kozbial11/1/14, 4:56 AM

    I am just a Gail Carriger fan. I love both her Finishing School and the Parasol Protectorate series. Her females are strong, her stories are interesting, and her writing is fantastic

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  3. Lol! It is seriously an awesome series! I highly recommend it, well at least the first book, which I loved! The wit and banter and ingenuity are all just fabulous!

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  4. Yes, yes, and yes. I definitely agree! :)

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  5. I can't wait to get my hands on the books! :)

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  6. So glad you're going to join us, Haley! They're great and I'm excited to read them at the same time with you and then discuss when I see you. :)

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  7. thank you a lot for the interview. i would have loved to join but i don't have the books yet ( if i'm lucky i will win the series here ;)) they are on my wishlist though


    thank you a lot for your generosity

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  8. That was a really cool book trailer. I haven't heard about these books before, but they seem really cool. I like the covers too.

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  9. These books sound great! I love the book covers and the book trailer! I would love to join the readalong but I think it would be too late for me to order them from the library :-( enjoy the readalong and thank you for the giveaway! x

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  10. Well, I'll just wish you luck then!

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  11. Natalie, you would love these! Seriously. Definitely add them to your list. :)

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  12. Hope you get to read them soon! Good luck with the giveaway! :]

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  13. I adore the Parasol Protectorate world! So happy Gail spun off into Finishing School after wrapping up the PP run! It's been a bit since I read them all, but she seems to be one of the few authors that makes me laugh out loud. And I totally want one of the parasols from the book - you know, the 'special' ones, not some frippery that Ivy would pick out. I so wish I could live in this world, have my very own Bumbersnoot... *cries* Why'd Gail have to go and make such a tempting imaginary world?? (And yeah, Pillover is kinda funny - poor kid, getting sent to that school)

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